Achill Island Traffic Jam
I visited the Famine Village of Keel on Achill Island, off Ireland’s west coast, one September. The area was abandoned in the mid 1850s after the Irish potato crop failed due to blight. The remains of dozens of one-room huts built of unmortared stone still stand, reminding visitors of the starving tenant farmers and their families’ flight from their homes to emigrate or make their way to villages by the sea where fish were a more reliable food source. As I took in the sad and eerie atmosphere of the deserted hillside, a more familiar Irish tableau gradually evolved as a flock of color-branded sheep topped a knoll and filed down toward home for their supper. I was delighted when the evening rush hour was punctuated by a bit of a traffic jam as two rams jockeyed for the lead.